Serial Entrepreneur Ashish J. Thakkar Introduces Mara Online – a Unique set of Social Portals for Connecting Africa Globally

Mara Group LogoMara Online provides professional, personal and social tools for communicating, networking, innovating and collaborating across borders.

The launch of Mara Online was announced today by Ashish J Thakkar, Founder and CEO of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, during his keynote at the world’s largest entrepreneur’s conference TiEcon. The vision of this new online and mobile platform is to become the first most inspirational choice for connecting African youth across the continent and to the world.

Mara Online is an online and mobile eco-system focused on African youth allowing users to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other via social portals, while building communities that are centered around common interests and information needs. Mara Online is a convergence of web and mobile technology that creates user-driven experiences spanning from educational tools for entrepreneurs to highly interactive mobile applications that provide connectivity to people across the globe.

“With the expansion of the African mobile and internet markets, we strive to develop quality services and tools that will empower and inspire African users. By engaging with our African youth, our goal is to support them in creating an identity in the world of technology, enabling them to innovate, share and collaborate across borders,” Ashish J. Thakkar stated during his keynote speech.

Throughout this year, Mara Online will launch its own mobile applications, with services ranging from music, gaming and social networking, to recruitment, payment services and education. Mara Online is currently focused on providing these services across Africa and will then expand globally, and more specifically in other emerging markets.

Three new mobile platforms to stay connected in Africa

The first three applications to be launched by Mara Online are communication focused, with the ambition to create new opportunities for African youth and ultimately change the way people interact online across the continent:

  • Mara Connect – A free mobile VoIP, allowing smartphone and tablet users across Africa to call and text for free, both domestically and internationally. As of today, this application is available in App Stores and Google Play.

For more information and to try out the application, please visit

  • Mara Messenger – An instant messaging platform facilitating real time communication via mobile and offers quick transmission of text-based messages.
  • BuzzMe – The first African social media network, providing a new way for youth to meet and network across the continent and globally, via the Internet and on mobile. BuzzMe will be interlinked with the other applications and allow members to chat online using Mara Messenger and via VOIP on Mara Connect.

“Launching today, I am confident that Mara Connect will shake up the market and become the premier choice for connecting people in Africa and beyond, while reducing consumers’ costs for mobile communication. At Mara, we strongly believe that Africa is the future and that the various Mara Online portals will serve as a stepping stone and open up amazing opportunities for African youth,” Ashish J Thakkar announced.

The idea behind Mara Online started off last year when Mara created Mara Mentor; an online mentoring platform to support young entrepreneurs in Africa and globally. Launched as an initiative by Mara Foundation and Mara Online, this platform already has over a 100,000 users. Going forward with the new product launches as part of the Mara Online platform, Mara Messenger and Mara Connect will serve as the two communication tools for Mara Mentor. The Mara Online ecosystem will be truly interconnected and thus enabling African youth to communicate more freely on a global scale.

Source: PR Asia – Press Release – 20 May 2013


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